Council boosts spending on rural roads

Ipswich City Council will significantly boost its commitment to rural roads when it hands down its 2021-22 Budget on Thursday.

In a Budget firmly focused on delivering for all suburbs of Ipswich, council is allocating $4.6 million on upgrading, rehabilitating and maintaining its rural roads.

Mayor Teresa Harding said council had listened to community concerns and had placed a major focus on road rehabilitation for 2021-22 and beyond.

The Mayor added $500,000 would be spent on unmaintained gravel roads and an additional $686,000 on gravel roads in the next financial year.

“Our 2021-22 Budget will be truly one for all of Ipswich,” Mayor Harding said.

“The safety of our rural roads is something that has been consistently raised by Division 1 and Division 4 councillors over the past 12 months. We have heard our residents clearly and now we’re taking action.

“Council is boosting its commitment to delivering safe and functional rural roads to $4.6 million – a 40 per cent increase on this year’s expenditure.”

Council has committed $300,000 to upgrading Waters Road, Calvert from an existing unmaintained gravel road to a maintained road standard. Waters Road is heavily used by the local community and council will conduct works to improve the usability of the gravel road.

In the 2021-22 budget, council will also outline the following projects for inclusion in the three-year capital program:

  • Waters Road Calvert FY22 $300,000 to upgrading from an existing unmaintained unformed gravel road to a maintained gravel road standard.
  • Borallon Station Road FY22 $200,000 for design and FY23 $1.4 million for construction – extensive design and construction works to upgrade the road from its current gravel to a constructed sealed road.
  • Grandchester Mt Mort Road FY22 $150,000 for design – exploring design improvements for sections of the road.
  • Hodgsons Road dust suppression FY22 $136,000 for construction – Council will trial an application of a single coat of 10mm of bitumen emulsion over approximately 1.6 km with a minimum width of 3.5 mts. This is a new approach for council but has been used successfully in other rural areas.

Mayor Harding said council acknowledged that providing repairs to an unmaintained road is an expensive exercise and required a thorough approach to ensure value for money for Ipswich residents.

“It is something our council officers are looking at continually and keeping councillors and the community briefed on,” Mayor Harding said.

“Specifically, councillors have been working on a new rural roads policy document to support our significant Budget commitment which is expected to be endorsed next month.”

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